Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Cabinet resigned yesterday following a failure to set an austerity budget last weekend.
Mark Rutte is due to speak in parliament today to see if there is any way he budget cuts of around 4.7% can be implemented, although most opposition parties are saying that cuts of more than 3% are not necessary.
The government finds itself in a predicament between the demands of the European Union and the opposition, now joined by Geert Wilders’ party, the Party for Freedom (PVV), which refuse to cut as deeply. Currently the Netherlands is one of a small number of countries that holds the AAA rating by credit ratings agencies, that is likely to be downgraded if a deal is not completed.
Meanwhile Rutte and his Cabinet have been asked by Queen Beatrix to remain on as a caretaker government. Elections are now inevitable and are likely to be on 5th September according to the elections commission, although some parties are pushing for 27th June. The last election was in June 2010 and the next election was not due until 2015.